|Volume No. 1 Issue No. 35 - Wednesday, January 15, 2002
| Detective Inspector David Michael: One of London's Finest
by Thomson Fontaine
Detective Chief Inspector David Michael is presently working in the Deputy Commissioner's Command at New Scotland Yard in London where he has built a national reputation as one of the country’s most eminent black police officers. He previously worked with the Specialist Operations Department at New Scotland Yard.
Born in Dominica where he received his primary school education, he migrated to the United Kingdom at the age of 11. On his 19th birthday, he became the first black police officer in Lewisham where he worked on a new approach to crime reduction based on surveillance and strategic action.
He went on to become a Detective Constable at Notting Hill and a uniformed sergeant in Peckham. His later postings included a period with CIB2, a unit investigating complaints against police officers, and an attachment to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office before being stationed at Southwark as a uniformed inspector.
His policing career has been broadly based, having completed interchange duties both as a Uniform Sergeant and Uniform Inspector. He was one of a Team of officers who worked on a case of pick pocketing and street robbery in the mid 1970's known as 'The Lewisham 24'.
The case heralded the first use of video evidence in a trial at the Old Bailey. He has worked on a number of high profile murder inquiries and other major crime investigations in the East End and South East of London. He was the Team Leader of a Police Child Protection Team and has investigated many adult rapes and other serious sexual offences.
Inspector Michael started taking evening classes in Law at the University of Westminster, where in 1993 he graduated with a Law degree. He juggled his academic work with professional duties on a number of high-profile murder cases and equally distressing involvement as part of the Newham Child Protection Team. He was later moved back to Southwark as a Detective Inspector.
David Michael has been a long-term member of the Metropolitan Police's Black Police Association executive committee. He was its first Deputy General Secretary and its Chairman from 1995 to 1997 and 1999 to 2001. He has also served on the National Communication Network of Black Police Associations.
In November 2002, Detective Chief Inspector Michael was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Westminster- “being a person distinguished in eminence and attainments.”
One year before in July 2001, he was awarded the degree of Honorary Master of Laws by the University of Greenwich. He was recognized for a distinguished record of police service, having received five commendations during his career as a uniformed officer and as a detective.
Professor David Chambers, Head of the Law School at the University of Greenwich, made the traditional eulogy of praise to DI Michael. He said: “David is a man of professionalism, skill and leadership. We recognise him today for his contribution to his profession and also to the communities he serves.
He has been an effective advocate for individual and collective rights within the police service. He speaks without fear or favour in respect of his victims. And he has served society, in its widest sense, as a man who has had the courage and tenacity to champion a cause to the advantage of others.”
In his acceptance speech, DI Michael said: " I was surprised and delighted to have been considered for the conferment this honour. As a law graduate, I have been able to use my exposure to law in a very practical way. I am grateful to all those who have contributed to the appreciation and recognition of my work and those who have decided to honour me."
In November 2002, Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham, presented the first Mayor’s Citizenship Award to Detective Chief Inspector, David Michael (see inset), at a reception and award ceremony in his honour. He was presented with the Mayor’s Citizenship Award for his contribution to the police service and the community over the last 30 years.
Presenting the award, Steve said: “David is a successful and highly respected police officer and has done so whilst also being a very good advocate for the kind of changes that our community has needed to make in how we deal with the issues of race.
"He is an inspiration to people of all ages in Lewisham and up and down the country. His career, to date, demonstrates his professionalism, his commitment to serving the community, and quite clearly what can be achieved through hard work and dedication.
Throughout his distinguished police career, Detective Chief Inspector Michael have received several Professional Achievements Awards and Community Recognition. In
December 2002, he was awarded a Certificate of 30 years Exemplary Service in the Metropolitan Police from the Commissioner of Police, Sir John Stevens.
At the same awards ceremony, he was given the Commissioner's Commendation 'for commitment and professionalism in developing diversity and equality in the Metropolitan Police Service, an award from the Metropolitan Police Service - Black Police
Association: In recognition of Pioneering work as a Founder Member & Past
Chairman of the Met BPA- For outstanding contribution in the struggle for Race
& Equality of opportunity within the MPS.
In November 2002, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the United Kingdom, National Black Police Association 'for Outstanding Contribution to the Police Service in Support of the Work of the NBPA'.
Other awards includes the Garavi Gujarat (GG2) Leadership and Diversity Awards, the Inspirational Worker award by South London Press, Our Heroes Awards 2002, at Shakespeare's Globe, Bankside, The Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal in recognition of
professionalism and commitment in service of Her Majesty; and Man of Merit, recognition of achievements by the Executive and Professionals Network.